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CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Monday, 20 April 2015

Asking prices in UK surge to highest ever level

UK asking prices record high

Rightmove released its Asking Price Index for the month of April 2015, which showed UK average asking prices increasing by +1.6 per cent month-on-month to £286,333.

This puts UK asking prices at their highest ever level, reflective of a housing shortage in the south-east in particular in concert with incredibly cheap borrowing rates.

Sentiment in the London market has eased since 2014 with asking prices increasing by +2.5 per cent in the month to £595,585 (+6.8 per cent year-on-year).

It appears unlikely that much will change in this regard in London in the lead up to the election as political uncertainty abounds.

Smoothed on a rolling annual basis it is notable that the London market seems to be reaching a plateau, while asking prices nationwide continue their recovery.

UK house prices have now completely recovered from their financial crisis decline and are up by 4.7 per cent over the past year, although in truth the regional indices do indicate that London and the south-east regions have skewed the national results higher.

The impact of last year's Mortgage Market Review (MMR) and its "gumming up" of the recovery through Sarbanes-Oxley style box-ticking requirements is also clearly visible.

Housing shortage bites

Rightmove reportedly experienced its busiest ever month in March with 115 million visitors, an increase of almost 20 per cent year-on-year. 

In the south of the country where the UK housing shortage is at its most acute the average asking price has increased by £85,000 or 27.5 per cent since the last election in May 2010.

Despite record interest in the market on Rightmove's measures, the number of properties listed for sale has declined by 4 per cent over the past year.